It's time for revival through a universal message
The message that faith in Jesus changes lives is a story that every Christian can tell. For some it is a life-story of how following a biblical code of conduct has kept them from pitfalls. For others who have experienced radical deliverance—a born again experience—that testimony might include dramatic contrasts of before and after.
Opening the conversation by recognizing the need for faith is honest and diffusing. The Apostle Paul said, "For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last..." Romans 1:17. Faith is diffusing because it breaks through today's mindset of resistance to the assumption that their are universal truths; which to many, is a non-starter. But in fact faith is a handle that allows people the choice to continue in an uncommitted, meaningless, and purposeless life; or, to profess—by faith—an allegiance to their Creator that brings peace, new life, and the promise of life to come.
The message for today is the "old, old story of Jesus and His love."
Once again to quote Paul, the gospel story that has persisted from the time of the Early Church is: "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," Sin is always the sticking point. The confession of sin—that a person has offended his or her Creator—is humbling. But those who are floundering in life are the very "sick" that Jesus said were in need of the Great Physician. They are the approachable. The needful. The lost sheep in need of a shepherd.
But Christians also have the testimony of what God has done in their lives through faith in Jesus. Going back to Paul again, God told him specifically: "for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you" Acts 26:16b-17. What does this mean to the "everyday" Christian? It means that we can share how God made Himself known to us. We can share what we have seen God do in our lives; and what God is currently revealing Himself to us though His Word and by His Spirit. All we have to do is tell the truth. Is that so hard?
I'll have much more to say on this matter in coming posts, but gotta go for now. And if you can't see that time is of the essence for sharing the gospel, I can't help you.
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